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International Peace Week Maine: Focus on Youth

Mainers who took part in this week's International Day of Peace say violence is the go-to solution for too many issues both at home and across the globe. (Christina Diebold)
Mainers who took part in this week's International Day of Peace say violence is the go-to solution for too many issues both at home and across the globe. (Christina Diebold)
September 22, 2017

BANGOR, Maine - Communities across New England and the globe are marking the United Nations International Day of Peace this week, and in Maine the focus is on young people.

This is the fourth year advocates and faith groups have marched and rallied to "End Violence Together" during International Peace Week. Mary Ellen Quinn, co-coordinator for Pax Christi Maine, said the goal is to make the community aware that peaceful solutions are available to eliminate poverty, domestic abuse, climate disruption and war.

"Our focus locally has been on involving youth," she said, "because we see that the youth in our community are really taking an interest in changing the world for their future."

More than 200 people took part in a march and rally in Bangor last Saturday to mark the International Day of Peace, which was observed elsewhere on Thursday. The United Nations first observed the day in 1981.

Around the globe, the theme this year is "Together for Peace, Respect, Safety and Dignity for All," with a focus on war refugees and economic migrants. Quinn said this is a timely message considering President Trump's recent United Nations address, where he said the United States might be forced to totally destroy North Korea.

"We really live in a culture of violence, where violence is the go-to solution for problems on personal level, at the community level and certainly at the global level," Quinn said, "and we all know that violence only begets more violence. "

Pax Christi and the Peace and Justice Center of Eastern Maine brought together the 30 local organizations and faith groups that participated in the End Violence Together event.

Mike Clifford, Public News Service - ME